There’s a way that Ontarians can help themselves to energy savings not widely publicized other than the net-metering options available. I’ll detail that option more below.
Generally though, Ontarians interested in adding renewables to their home have to take on the brunt of the setup costs. From Ministry of Energy (Ontario) brochure
“”"Electricity consumers in Ontario who produce some of their own power may now take advantage of ‘net metering.’ The Ministry of Energy has filed a net metering regulation, which allows electricity customers who install their own renewable generation equipment to return electricity to the grid for credit. The new regulation eliminates inconsistencies across the province and requires that distributors permit net metering for all eligible projects that produce up to 500 kilowatts. Projects that produce electricity from clean sources such as water, wind, solar power and farm biomass are eligible.
The Ministry has produced a brochure to assist consumers who are interested in learning more about net metering.”"”
Interesting to note that even with a Green Act in place now and three years of net metering brochures, the process still requires you to call another three different sources to get started. (Utility, Electricians and Gov’t). Mmmm smell that paperwork! Not yet an integrated or easy turn key solution.
Sure, go for it, the savings are certainly there, but ask along the way, why isn’t this online? Why did I have to call you? Are you old? The Internet should be used as a focal point for examples, testimonials, and articles on how to size and certify along with timetable averages for completion for different systems to give people a general idea of what to expect. I would have made it a magazine style with tips and tricks. 1-800 numbers seem to waste our time. Sell it, don’t bury it!
Given a chance I’d definitely go for it. Geothermal cooling alone would eliminate air conditioning costs.
Part II: Paint the Roof White:
BEFORE you lay out the cashola though… and since you have to pay for a chunk of it anyway…. Paint the Roof White! … and you’ll find you didn’t need a big budget after all.
Paint the roof white to save an additional 20-30% off costs of cooling and heating across the board would be a whole lot easier than adding new energy capacity no matter where you live. (Of course this is not listed on the Ontario website).
Note that painting a roof white does not need to meet Utility, Electrician cashola monthly payments nor any political jamboree songs but simple Municipal safety guidelines. Any roofing company or painting company renovator can do it, there are dozens of companies are they not? We don’t need specialized and expensive approval from electricians and bureaucrats..yuck.
No, it turns out a white roof is the cheapest thing YOU CAN DO right now and laugh in the face of your electricity bill and city councillors. Afterwards if you can by all means go and scale for a net-metering system. Saving your money first though will allow you peace of mind and immediate improvement.
“Now you smile, but if you look at all the buildings and make all the roofs white, and if you make the pavement a more concrete-type of colour than a black-type of colour, and you do this uniformly… It’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars in the world by 11 years,” he said.
“It’s like you’ve just taken them off the road for 11 years. It’s actually geoengineering.”
General notes on cooling rooftops from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_roof
Finally I’ll mention a Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) Study from 2001. Here are your tax dollars at work showing how energy savings are studied and what they found. Google rocks again.
Ontario’s Green Act is seeking supply, but in doing so they are ignoring cutting demand. Making houses all around us as powerplants is commendable, however this is not the only solution.
Cutting demand first with a white roof would put our energy needs into better context before we spend serious money on other opportunities in the Green Act. Save your money.